Finding peace in a busy life

Posted by on Thursday, June 13, 2019 Under: From the Vicar
Ruth's article from the June edition of the parish magazine.

As I write this (mid-May) we are enjoying some wonderful weather. I have just returned from three-days’ training, near Northiam, where I have been reminded once again of the crucial importance of stopping every so often to smell the roses … or stand awe-struck at the beauty of the Kent countryside, or to simply close my eyes and turn my face toward the warmth of the sun. The challenge now, of course, is to retain such times of balance and peace and restoration, despite being back in the busyness of daily life. And this is a challenge for all of us. We may have summer holidays planned, but if we’re not careful, they can lead to more stress and tension, as we try to complete everything on our to-do list so that we can go away with an unburdened heart and mind. And when we get to the place of our dreams, the first week is spoilt, not just for us, but for everyone around us, as we literally depressurise. Surely we must, somehow, find life-giving times of quiet and contemplation within the usual structures of daily life. Some people manage it – yoga, sailing, mindfulness maybe – there are all sorts of tools to help us, but there’s one more I would suggest. That is prayer.

Prayer might already be part of your pattern of life, or not something you have ever thought about. Prayer doesn’t have to be elaborate or complex. Prayer often includes spoken words, but need not. Prayer can simply be time spent with mind and heart focused on our loving creator, God. Prayer opens up a space in life, in which all the questions we have can be wrestled with, gently mulled over or allowed to drift away for a while as we connect with God and bathe in his peace.

We take our example from Jesus. The stories of Jesus in the Bible, record, many times, the importance he placed on prayer, on time focused on his father, God. One instance is recorded by the Gospel writer Mark:

Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. (Mark 1.35)

If you’d like to look them up, some other examples are Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 6:12 and Jesus himself, talks about the importance of never giving up with prayer in Luke 18.1-8.

Possibly the best-known story of Jesus related to prayer, is his teaching of The Lord’s Prayer – a simple prayer, but of such depth, that it has been the prayer of millions throughout the ages.

The Lord’s Prayer contains the words ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ – a prayer that the promised time of wholeness, flourishing and peace under the reign of God will indeed come.

As I mentioned in last month’s magazine Thy Kingdom Come is the title of the Church of England initiative that St. Peter and St. Paul’s will be taking part in, between May 30th (Ascension Day) and June 9th (Pentecost). 

My prayer is that Thy Kingdom Come will provide precious space in busy lives for you. This is an invitation to you, wherever in life you are, to come, just as you are, and spend a little while in the peace of your beautiful parish church, or, if you’d like to explore prayer and maybe grow in confidence with it, visit the prayer stations or come to any Morning or Evening Prayer (8.30am and 7pm) between 31st May and 8th June.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

More news …

Magazine Editor
This June edition of the magazine is Allan Card’s last one as editor. We owe him a huge debt of thanks for continuing with this task for many years, despite the usual frustrations and challenges of an editor’s role. We will be thanking Allan formally during the 10am service at church on 9th June. In the meantime, I’m sure I speak for everyone in saying THANK YOU ALLAN! Your dedication to the magazine has been greatly appreciated.

We have not yet had any luck in finding a new editor. If you, or someone you know would be excited by editing a church and community magazine with lots of potential for growth, please talk with me. In the meantime, the magazine will continue!

Families and Children are very welcome in Church
It was wonderful that so many families with children were in church over Easter and we are being very intentional about continuing the invitation and welcome. At present we have all-age worship with activities for children on the first and third Sundays of every month, but we are praying about and aiming to provide activities and, we hope, an exciting Sunday Club for younger ones on the other Sundays, possibly from September.

The children’s area in church needs some TLC, some new furniture, toys, books etc and we are going to apply for a grant for this. We will also be providing material to help you support your children on their spiritual journey through life.
The Thy Kingdom Come prayer stations will include stations for children, so please come and spend some time as a family exploring prayer or simply visiting your wonderful church.

Please bear with us as we develop this area of ministry. Your prayers for it will be greatly appreciated. If you would like to help with it just let me know and in the meantime, please spread the word … children and families are very welcome in St. Peter and St. Paul’s! 

St Peter and St Paul’s Celebration Weekend
Saturday 29th June is what’s called our Patronal Festival (the day on which we honour the patron saints of our church – St. Peter and St. Paul), and we will be making the most of it over the whole weekend. The timetable looks like this:

Saturday morning – one of Peter Smith’s wonderful ‘study’ (more like interesting and absorbing) mornings. 10am – 1pm in church.

Saturday afternoon – Cream Teas. 2-5pm in church.

Sunday morning – Breakfast in church from 9.15am. Followed by an All-age Celebration Service at 10am.

Sunday afternoon – Barbecue in the Vicarage garden, 12 noon onwards.

All these events are for everyone who is interested, and we hope it will be a wonderful weekend of church and community celebrating together.

In the meantime, may you find quiet times in the midst of life, for restoration of body and soul.

Every blessing,

Ruth

01622 717434     07803 902319     ruthmpeet@gmail.com

In : From the Vicar